This week we have been reporting on the impact millennials are having on environmental issues across society — so, which companies are poised to make the most of these attitudes?  Forbes Magazine took a look at the “winners” and “losers” for millennial purchasers and found that fast casual restaurants are beating out fast food, casual and recyclable fashion companies are doing well because millennials want fewer and more versatile clothes that can go from home to office to gym (and these may be co-located), and companies that sell organic foods and products that reduce paper and plastic use and gadgets that promote the “sharing economy” and electric efficiency are all on the rise, as is ecotourism.

Why This Matters:  It may seem obvious to anyone who lives in a city these days that Millennials are now driving many consumer options such as preferring dining out at fast casual places to eating in, eating more vegetables and healthy foods, and wanting an easily accessible gym and casual dress at work.  Which is why companies like Noodles & Company, Sweet Green, Peloton, Uber, Zipcar, Patagonia, Dropbox, and Blue Apron are crushing it with Millennials and will see their market share grow as spending by young people increases over time.  Millennials are, according to a recent survey, 76% more environmentally conscious than their parents and they are using their purchasing power to lift up this new wave of companies that suit their tastes.

Who Wins and Loses In Each Major Consumer Category?

Fashion:  According to the latest data, 90% of millennials prefer clothes products from a brand whose social and environmental practices they trust and 95% of millennials would recommend that brand to a friend using their social platforms and networking devices.  And they will pay more for these products and buy fewer of them — they want to reduce consumerism and replace buying more with buying sustainablyWinning companies are Patagonia, Rothy’s, Reformation, and Everlane.

Food:  Surveys show that Millennials prefer convenience, and that is especially true when it comes to food — they are much more likely to eat restaurant-prepared food than their parents — particularly “to-go” or food that can be ordered and delivered.  But, they don’t want fast food — it is not healthy enough.  They are determined to mind both their own health and the health of the planet and see those as linked – they are very concerned about industrial food production and prefer organic foods. “I think the millennial generation is much more demanding than prior generations,” Nigel Travis, the CEO of Dunkin’ Brands, told Business Insider. Winning companies in this category are Uber Eats, Chipotle, Noodles and Company, Sweetgreen, Eat24, DoorDash, Blue Apron, Door to Door Organics.

Tech:  Millennials prefer hybrid technology, according to Forbes, because they have grown up with computers and are comfortable combining two or more technologies to achieve efficient and eco-friendly energy systems and hybrid motor vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint — in 2018, 61% of millennials signed up for smart technologies and applications.  Millennials prefer experiences over owning things and that translates to things like riding a shared bike to work, ride-sharing, and even ecotourism Technology has made this entire segment of the economy possible.  Millennials are also concerned about energy use in homes and offices and prefer smart and green buildings where energy is conserved.  This even extends to health and wellness items such as wearable sports tech that promotes and tracks physical activity.  Winners here are Uber, Zipcar, Peloton, Dropbox, Lime, and Lindblad Expeditions–National Geographic.  

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